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Other people’s shoes: tales of forgiveness and empathy

Exploring the possibilities of forgiveness through real stories: the Forgiveness Project is a UK based charity that uses the stories of victims and perpetrators to facilitate conflict resolution and promote behavioural change.  The project encourages people to consider alternatives to resentment, retaliation and revenge and central its efforts is work with ex-offenders and victims of crime. As well as colle ...

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Russ and Daughters: New York’s sturgeon queens

Used to pass this old shop every day as I took my little girls to school, noting the unusal name with approval - I'd have doffed my cap had I worn one. Now a new documentary, Sturgeon Queens, tells the story of the Lower East Side smoked fish institution and the four generations of one family who have run it for 100 years.  Two of the three surviving Russ daughters feature in Julie Cohen's film and there ar ...

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Men made miserable by shopping

A source of fascination are those couples who manage to shop together without ending up in the divorce courts. One man decided to photograph his peers instead of spending the time sleeping or constantly looking at his mobile phone and the result is a very popular Instagram, 'Miserable men that went shopping. I felt their pain'. ...

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Siobhan Wilson sings Joni Mitchell at Celtic Connections

Let's ease our way gently in to Monday morning shall we with this crowd pleasing Joni Mitchell cover by rising Scottish star Siobhan Wilson performing at Roddy Hart's recent Roaming Roots Revue - a sell out Celtic Connections show Avocado Sweet was lucky enough to attend. The night was a paean to the wordy, gentle and summery sounds of the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1970s - Joni Mitchell, Crosby Still ...

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Win tickets to The Pledge, ‘a superb detective thriller’ directed by Sean Penn

The Pledge is described by Pete Bradshaw in The Guardian as 'a distinctive, demanding, deeply intelligent picture from a first-class director …Director Sean Penn draws an outstanding performance from Jack Nicholson in a superb detective thriller.' Drambuie and Filmhouse Edinburgh are offering 2 lucky Avocado Sweet readers the chance to win tickets to two screenings of The Pledge. There is a choice of two sh ...

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Robert Burns and the Love-Begotten Babies

It's a pity that the reputation of Robert Burns, a prolific and uniformly brilliant poet, is consistently condensed into the same few poems, quoted and misquoted over and over again. He wrote on diverse topics - money and politics among them - but only a few of his works are widely known. A recurrent theme was his love for and lack of shame in babies born in unconventional circumstances. Admittedly Burns wa ...

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Classic Tom Waits interview, 1979

Words of advice from Tom Waits, 'Never sleep with a girl called Ruby and never play pool with a guy called Fatz' in this classic interview with Phil Ranstrom at the Shyrock Auditorium on 9 October, 1979. Produced by Ranstrom and directed by Dan Hathaway. ...

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How to show you’ve made it in ’80s China: a tv and lots of jumpers

Television reached China in a big way in the 1980s. Part of the economic expansion of the People’s Republic, it was available to the masses for the first time and those lucky enough to own a television proudly displayed their boxes as status symbols.  These photos were  found in a market in Beijing and show a woman in an identical pose but with a different piece of knitwear in each shot. Her trousers and pi ...

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In ‘Friend Love’ with Yumi Sakugawa

Californian artist Yumi Sakugawa's hit comic strip about friend love is now available as a book. A one-eyed formless protagonist reaches out to someone she feels is a perfect match as a friend in a story that is both touching and perceptive about connections in a technological age. Sakugawa, 29, says the book does come from an autobigraphical place, 'I was a freshman in college when Facebook first came out. ...

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The Poetry of Sex

The Poetry of Sex, an anthology, edited by Sophie Hannah is published by Penguin on 30 January. Not all the poems are about Daniel Craig, only two appear alongside poems by Catullus and Andrew Marvell's 17th century plea To His Coy Mistress. Message by Wendy Cope, below, is a funny plea to her lover to hurry up and get on with it while they still have their own teeth. Pick up the phone before it is too late ...

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